In our series of authors announced for the April 2016 Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology collection, Engen Books is proud to announce two stories by Jennifer Combden, Immune and Sunny Days.
Jennifer is a meteorologist living in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is a sponge for knowledge, and her love of learning is second only to her love of sharing that knowledge. She prefers to write science fiction, with a strong emphasis on the science, as a medium by which to explain complex ideas. When not explaining quantum physics to 12 year olds she can be found living on the (PG) Nerdcrafteria minecraft server where she volunteers, writing forecasts at work, and getting lost on Wikipedia.
Both stories had been published in the anthology collection that preceded Sci-Fi from the Rock through Engen Books, which has since gone out of print. Some stories from the collection have survived in other forms, such as Ellen Curtis’s The Tourniquet Revival and Falling into Fire (in her collection Compendium) and Matthew LeDrew’s Shoe, which has also been out of print since 2010.
We’re very excited to have Jennifer’s amazing two stories back in print!
Thought Super Galactic Space Explorers was going to be the only big surprise? Think again! The 2016 10th Anniversary edition of Sci-Fi from the Rock will also feature the work of multiple award-winning Newfoundland author Scoot Bartlett of Mirth Publishing!
Scott brings with him a preview lead-in to Flight or Fight, the first book in his new series, Out of Dodge.
Submissions for the 2016 anthology edition of Sci-Fi from the Rock are now closed! Those authors who were accepted by editors Erin Vance and Ellen Curtis have been contacted and will be announced as their contracts come in. The first announcement though, is that Sci-Fi fan favorite Super Galactic Space Explorers author Jay Paulin has brought his space-faring furious felines to the collection in a new prose story titled “Spooky’s Gambit”… with bumper art by series co-creator Ariel Marsh!
The contents of the story are closely under wraps, but fans left wanting more in the wait for Super Galactic Space Explorersvol.3 will not be disappointed.
If this is just the first announcement… what else could be in store? Stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out, and pick up a copy of Sci-Fi from the Rock this April!
There are 24 hours left to submit your short story to the Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology title, scheduled for release in cooperation with Sci-Fi on the Rock on April 1, 2016. Sci-Fi on the Rock will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s. Deadline for entry to the anthology is tomorrow, December 31, 2015.
Do you have a story to tell? We think everyone does!! This year is Sci-Fi on the Rock’s 10th anniversary, and we want to ring it in in style with a new anthology celebrating the convention’s decade of celebrating science-fiction and fantasy in our region…but Sci-Fi on the Rock isn’t just made possible by its staff and guests: it’s made possible by you! So until midnight tomorrow, Engen Books will be accepting final submissions for publication in the 10th anniversary Sci-Fi From the Rock anthology from anyone who attends the convention or wants to help celebrate its ten-year history!
Send all entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 PM NST December 31st, 2015, with the following information: Your name, the title of your story, the genre of your story, and the length. Please note: a reliable e-mail address is required so that all applicants can be contacted following the December 31st deadline.
For this anthology, applicants are asked to submit stories suitable for the equivalent of a PG or PG-13 rating. This is in the interest of creating an anthology that, like Sci-Fi on the Rock, can be enjoyed by fans of all ages. Applicants wishing to submit material outside of this range may do so only for consideration in future publications.
Hello to all fans of science-fiction, fantasy, horror, and anything in the general geek genre! Did everyone have a good summer? We hope you got your relaxing in, because here’s a general reminder: the deadline for submitting to have YOUR STORY see print in the star-studded 10 Year Anniversary edition of Sci-Fi from the Rock is December 31, 2015: only 80 days away!
Got a story to tell? We think everyone does! Especially the talented staff and attendees of Sci-Fi on the Rock! That’s why Engen Books produces the Sci-Fi From the Rock anthologies, highlighting short stories from our region, written by the staff a guests of everyone’s favorite Sci-Fi convention! This year is Sci-Fi on the Rock’s 10th Anniversary, and we’re going to ring it in in style with a new anthology celebrating the Con’s decade of history bringing science-fiction to our region…but Sci-Fi on the Rock isn’t just made possible by its staff and guests: it’s made possible by you! So between now and December 31st 2015, Engen Books will be accepting submissions for publication in the 10th Anniversary Sci-Fi From the Rock from anyone who attends the Convention!
The amount of talent and pedigree on tap for this volume is already impressive, including a short prose story by Jay Paulin taking place in his fuzzy and expansive Super Galactic Space Explorers Universe (with ornamental by series creator Ariel Marsh), a tale by multiple-award winning Newfoundland author Scott Bartlett, a non-fiction retrospective on Sci-Fi on the Rock from the award-winning author of A Daughter’s GiftJacqui Tam, and introducing sure-to-be fan-favorite author Erin Vance, who is introducing a new story set in an exciting new fantasy multiverse!
Hey all, Ellen here! It’s been a looooong time since I’ve blogged or been super present in online Engen activities. That is about to change though! Put on the kettle, and let’s settle down with a cuppa and catch up!
I was blessed to begin my publishing career at a very young age; Infinitywas published when I was 16. Getting a formal education to prepare me for a career in writing was still important to me despite this success, and so I pursued a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Pursuing my education has been, at times, very frustrating. There have been many moments over the past four years where I have felt that my education has been a detriment to my attempts at pursuing my writing career. The sheer amount of time consumed by my studies left me with very few hours in the day to write fiction, and when I was able to write I often felt that I was ignoring other priorities in my life.
School was my first priority, and to support that I needed a day job, which had to be my second priority. Sheer exhaustion prevented me from focusing on much else, including my health. There are only so many times you can spend sleepless nights researching and studying, say “screw the gym” when you’re too tired to go the next day, and pick up a bag of chips and a chocolate bar on the way home as ‘fuel’ before heading to work and repeating the cycle before all of it catches up with you. I’m goal oriented to a fault; in my pursuit of my education I let the rest of my life fall to the wayside.
Sci-Fi on the Rock celebrated its ninth year on April 25, 26 and 27 2015 at the Holiday Inn in the heart of St. John’s Newfoundland, and as always Engen Books was there to be a part of it!
This year’s headliner guests included Peter Williams of Stargate SG-1 and Frazer Hines of Doctor Who fame, and as always the Holiday Inn was filled with representatives from every corner of geekdom: Jay Paulin and Ariel Marsh brought their newest space-opera Super Galactic Space Explorers vol. 2: Royal Pain, featuring the SGSE taking on the evil machinations of Queen Kit-Kat. David Reynolds was there selling his books detailing the wide breadth of intellectual scope that his Problematic Press books cover, including his published master’s thesis: Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths. And Scott Bartlett was there with his… is award-winning a genre? Well if it was, Scott would write in that genre. He was there with Taking Stock and Royal Flush, as well as taking any downtime to work on his newest novel, a science-fiction offering.
And of course, Engen Books released the first book in its newest series, Cinders.
The newest book to star the sometimes-hero Xander Drew, Cinders in the first book in the newly-christened Xander Drew series, first glimpsed at the end of last year’s short story collection The Long Road. The novel picks up as Xander has spent some time in Los Angeles, a place he first visited in the 2009 novel Roulette, wherein his one-man war against a mob boss lands him squarely pegged between good cop Thomas Horton and a driven vigilante.
“The book was met with great success, sales wise,” said LeDrew, author of the series. “It’s a great new direction for the Engen Universe. It might not seem like it right now, but this series is going to bring Xander’s character out from the shadows and into the limelight of the Engen Universe, and it all starts here. Now I just need to wait for the reviews to come in on GoodReads and find out what people really thought.”
Did you buy Cinders at Sci-Fi on the Rock 9? If s, be sure to add it on GoodReads!
There was a lot going on last weekend, and I’m sure the second I’m done this post I’ll realize I left something out. The Dysfunctional Writing Panel (not filmed, sorry guys), Ellen’s Early-Bird Panel, Fat Apollo’s Storytime, all that stuff is what makes Sci-Fi great. But the big big big BIG news from this year has to be that we’ve opened up submissions to anyone who has attended the con for next year’s tenth anniversary Sci-Fi from the Rock collection. — Matt LeDrew
As always with Sc-Fi on the Rock, more than just Matthew, Ellen, and Jay were in attendance in the way of Engen Authors. Steve Lake was also there, both in-person and represented with his new avatar, tiny Engen-Cube Stevie Lake, which can be downloaded here. Steve will be helping headline a big project in conjunction with the next Sci-Fi on the Rock Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology, from which we hope to have more artwork, stories, and fiction from the creative minds that helps make this wonderful event a reality: the fans and staff!
It gets bigger and better every year and continuously blows my mind. I’m happy to be a cog in the wheel that makes this festival possible every year, and I’m grateful to the people I work with on the organizing committee for all the help we give each other in getting things done. — Steve Lake
The Most Dysfunctional Writing Panel was a big draw once again this year, hosted by Matthew LeDrew, Steve Lake, and Jay Paulin. There were many laughs and not very much writing advice, by all accounts.
The bottom line: Engen Books had a blast and we can’t wait to see everyone next year for the big tenth-anniversary celebration of Sci-Fi on the Rock!
So really — if we’re being honest — this is the first post in my new blog Distractions. This will likely only make sense to people actually viewing it on May 3rd, 2015: for the rest of you I’ll have migrated over all my blog posts from my other sites to this one, and it’ll look like this blog has been going on since 2009 or so. It hasn’t been, but through the magic of changing the publication date on posts, it’ll seem like it. Tell no-one.
I thought long and hard about what to call this blog. Steve Lake already took The Stylin’ Lounge, so I couldn’t do that, although I am clearly stylin’. Titles are important, especially when you’re coming from a writing background like me. More than the first sentence or the first paragraph or even the cover, the title is your introduction to the reader. Mine had to do a lot of things at once, because this blog will inevitably be about a lot of things at once: not only writing, but I diary of sorts about Engen Books and the things I do for it, as well as just relevant things I do.
I picked Distractions because it says everything I need it to: it speaks to the writing process (and the greatest enemy of it: the wandering mind), it encapsulates just that little bit of madness that seems to bleed out whenever I sit down to write about my life, and of course: this is a distraction. This, writing for the website, even right now. Anything I’m doing that’s not writing is technically distracting me from writing.
What’s been distracting me from writing lately? Well mostly, everything you see around you on this page. I finally convinced my Engen Books partner Ellen Curtis to let me totally revamp the site into an engine that’ll allow me to post more easily, because I’m a very busy human and the long waits between posts are unacceptable. Hopefully this is the end of that. But as a consequence, I’ve spent the last week migrating the old website over to that new process. It should be done. If you’re finding dead links or anything else that’s kinda weird, please comment on the page that’s the issue to let me know, it’ll be fixed pretty quickly.
Last weekend was the Ninth Annual Sci-Fi on the Rock, which was an amazing experience. This is going to possibly sound a little odd, but we get the most business done at these conventions: and I don’t just mean sales (although thank you to everyone who did buy our books, thank you so much). No what I mean by business is just the ease of having so many charged-up, excited, creative people all at arm’s length for four days. There really are few events that can process that. In the span of a few mere days, I managed to link up with Steve Lake and talk about the future of his Full Moon series, see Melanie Collins for the first time in ages and get her permission to upload her short story Woven by the Thief to GoodReads for free (coming soon, can’t wait), met an artist who may well be making the international cover to Smoke and Mirrors, met a designer and talked to them about the possibility of Engen jewelry (no, really) AND got to network with amazing talented authors like Scott Bartlett and Dave Reynolds. All that, and spend a lot of time working on synergy between Ink’d Well Comics and Engen Books while hanging with one of the nicest guys in the comic-book industry, Jay Paulin.
Actually, lets talk about Jay Paulin for a moment, because not only does he produce stellar art-house style graphic novels with the help of artist Ariel Marsh and support of his wife, the amazing and beautiful Dr. Heidi Paulin (who also happened to give me a lot of help with medical advice during my latest book), but he’s also an amazingly energized guy, and probably one of my best friends. There were many late nights chatting, and one great night at a great restaurant — Get Stuffed in Downtown St. John’s — where we all got together with the dry wit of Mr. Scott Bartlett and shared a meal.
Almost forgot: Jay and Ariel brought us buttons. With Black Womb on them! Amazing. 🙂
Ariel actually got stranded in the city for an extra day, which led to a great time taking her around to some touristy things around St. John’s, including: fog, fog, and of course, fog. Also: The Geo Center, which I learned has a downstairs, which makes sense. I always thought it was just a gift shop. We also managed to introduce her the Ches’s famous Fish and Chips, Signal Hill, and Jumping Bean Coffee. Ariel is an amazing artist, evidence by her work on Super-Galactic Space Explorers and Emma Awesome, and even some great art she’s done for me, see left. She’s a rare talent, and now I’m happy to say, a rare friend. 🙂
There was a lot going on last weekend, and I’m sure the second I’m done this post I’ll realize I left something out. The Dysfunctional Writing Panel (not filmed, sorry guys), Ellen’s Early-Bird Panel, Fat Apollo’s Storytime, all that stuff is what makes Sci-Fi great. But the big big big BIG news from this year has to be that we’ve opened up submissions to anyone who has attended the con for next year’s tenth anniversary Sci-Fi from the Rock collection.
We’ll be posting up the official guidelines soon, but as it stands anything “Generally Geeky” is going to be accepted. We’re planning a massive collection here to celebrate all the people that make Sci-Fi on the Rock a reality for a decade, including retrospectives on past years by Steve Lake, artwork for every story (which Ellen has elected me to produce, we’ll see how that goes) and what will hopefully be a simply massive amount of fiction from the greatest sci-fi lovers on the planet.
All said, Sci-Fi on the Rock 9 was amazing. Big thanks to Steve Lake, Tara Murphy and co. (they don’t get it enough) for putting on a great show I’ll be remembering for many, many years to come.
So, that last Sci-Fi from the Rock anthology title was in 2013, and that’s a darn shame. The main reason for this has been waiting for the next epic installment of the Full Moon series from Steve Lake, but that’s no excuse. So, Engen Books will soon be formally announcing a new Sci-Fi From anthology collection to be released at Sci-Fi on the Rock 2016!
We’re opening up the entry to anyone who attends and loves Sci-Fi on the Rock, and we need your help deciding on a title! Please vote or comment below, and make your voice heard! 🙂
Please note: if “horror” wins that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll have only horror stories, but it will likely mean a focus on those types of stories. The same is true of all possible titles.
Not sure what we’re even talking about? That’s okay! You can read Steve Lake’s short story “Legacy of the Full Moon” short story for free here on Goodreads!
So Sci-Fi on the Rock 7 has come and gone, and it’s always a weird time. This convention, more than any other, marks the passage of time for me. It’s been seven years since Engen Books started. Since that first spark when I was talking to Kenneth Tam and went “I can do this,” and started this weird, oddball publishing company that has shaped so much of my life since.
Every convention is different and every experience is different. This convention, I’m happy to report, was our biggest in terms of sales: both in number of books moved and amount of money made, according to our accountant — I can’t be trusted with the money.
And really, that’s incredible. That should not be possible. We’ve been coming to the same convention 6 times in a row — logically, everyone who was going to buy a copy of the book should already have it. But there’s a reason I’m an author and not a marketer, and this year really proved me wrong.
Every convention has it’s stories. The weird little behind-the-scenes tidbits that nobody sees that just makes it real. At Sci-Fi on the Rock to it was singing “Old Man River” with Boba Fett. At Polaris 24 it was making an ass of myself in front of Claudia Black. At Hal Con 2012 it was having a chat with John Rhys Davis about politics — and then getting tickled by him during a picture. This convention was different though. This time it was special, and had nothing to do with rubbing shoulders with the A-listers and then coming home to write about it, hoping that blog hits from someone searching that celeb will result in book sales for you. Nope, this time the coolness came from a very, very different place.
This year we sold more books than ever before, and got more positive feedback than ever before. I didn’t print any ads. I did very little to hype it on Facebook. I don’t think the newest books are even available on the Engen website as of yet (coming soon, website’s getting revamped). There was no social-media marketing. There was no air-time on VOCM. There was no web-presence to speak of. Engen Books had it’s best day ever for one reason and one reason alone — positive word of mouth.
No less than a dozen times did someone come up to us and say “My friend read your first book, and he can’t stop talking about it. I’d like to pick up the whole series.” Those people pictured on the left? That is the Unofficial Engen Street Crew: the people really spreading the word about Engen Books. I left Sci-Fi on the Rock 7 with a renewed sense of purpose and a new conviction to continue doing what we’ve been doing — and to get better. Because this crew deserves for it to get better.
Did I sing a song with Dominic Keating? No. Do a jog with Gary Jones? Nada. Embarrass myself in front of Dean Haglund? Not this time. What I did get was validation — this is working for us. We’re doing what we love and other people love it too. There is no better feeling than that. Than having fans who are just as into your thing as you are, and it’s reminded me who we are.
We are Engen Books.
We write amazing fiction. We take the mundane and make it spectacular. We create worlds and craft ideas and change thought. And we are good at what we do.